Sleep is the most essential part of our daily routine. The sleep that you take dictates most of the activities that you perform throughout the day.
It is very essential to have clean sleep hygiene and it can only be achieved by finding the right balance between the quality of sleep and the amount of sleep that one gets at night.
It had been a general perception that an adult human being needs seven to eight hours of sleep at night. Getting sleep less than 7 hours may cause fatigue, mood swings, and laziness (1). Today as sleep science has progressed, scientists, doctors, and researchers had found out that sleep quality is equally important as sleep quantity.
To be more precise, sleep quality gives a much better understanding of the overall sleep status, frame of mind, and performance in daily activities associated with the person in consideration.
Now the question is how can we improve the quality of sleep? And what are the precise matrices that can tell us whether our sleep quality is up to the mark or not?
Most of us are missing good sleep
Sleep quantity or quality, most of us are missing on both. Research shows that 27% of Americans do not get the suggested amount of sleep (2). About 60% of American adults said that they had experienced sleep issues at some time (3).
Is there any easy fix?
It is easy to increase the quantity of sleep than improving upon quality. Some of the tips that can help you get more sleep are:
- Set a sleep schedule and strictly stick to it (4).
- Get rid of irregular and long naps (5).
- Do not consume liquid close to bed (6).
- Avoid eating dinner close to bed (7).
- Avoid caffeine in the late part of the day.
Emphasize on Quality of Sleep
As technology progressed, we get to know more about our sleep and its patterns. On the other hand, devices that emit blue light and caffeine intake in the later hours are negatively impacting sleep habits. Nowadays it is more important to plan and work on getting good quality sleep. Quality sleep has the following characteristics as per the National Sleep Foundation:
- You must be sleeping 85 percent of the time you are in bed.
- Must fall asleep in 30 minutes or less as you lay down on the bed.
- Must get continuous sleep, should not wake up more than once each night.
- Stay awake for more than 20 minutes before falling asleep again.
Some Easy tips to improve sleep quality
You will not believe how much some tweaks here and there in your daily routine can get you closer to better sleep hygiene. First of all, optimize your bedroom environment. Don’t feel satisfied with the mattress or pillow try some other bedding. Set the room temperature that suits you the most, the optimal room temperature, in general, is between 20° C or 18° C. Sleep in light cotton clothes that are well ventilated and breathable.
You can also plan a bedtime time routine like; taking a warm bath, reading a book, or doing some meditation before laying down on the bed. Such activities if done frequently give a signal to your brain that the time of bed is near, and the brain should calm down to get ready for sleep.
One of the most recommended tips for better sleep is to keep the bedroom dark and quiet while trying to sleep. Sleep masks and earplugs can be a great help to get light and noise isolation.
Caffeine hurts the quality of sleep, do not consume coffee, tea, or cigarettes in the afternoon. Stay away from alcohol and avoid exposure to blue light that comes from smartphones, TVs, or other electronic devices.
Sit uptightly and just plan some activities that can help you with sleep. Implement them and see what works for you the most. These activities not only improve quality, but they also help in getting more sleep to some extent.
- (1) http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood
- (2) https://www.consumerreports.org/sleep/why-americans-cant-sleep/
- (3) https://www.thegoodbody.com/reasons-consider-seeing-chiropractor/
- (4) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12941057/
- (5) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17053484/
- (6) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15621224/
- (7) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22142838/